Five-hundred construction jobs will be created near Bunbury after the world’s biggest lithium miner was given environmental approval to build a massive lithium hydroxide processing plant in the area.

Albemarle Corporation has received state environmental approval to build its one-billion-dollar lithium plant in the Kemerton industrial area, with the project expected to create a further five hundred jobs when production starts.

Once constructed, the site will process ore from the Greenbushes mine, which is joint-owned by Albemarle and China’s Tianqi (Tian-chi) Lithium. Tianqi is currently building its own processing plant at Kwinana.

Earlier this year, the state government established a Lithium and Energy Materials Industry Taskforce to capitalise on WA’s unique resources and growth in the lithium-ion battery sector. 

“The State is a world-leading producer of lithium and WA has an abundant supply of lithium and other battery minerals which is why it’s vital we maximise the opportunities this industry provides, both upstream and downstream, to Western Australians,” WA Premier Mark McGowan said.

“The Abermarle lithium plant is another step closer to setting up its operations which will generate hundreds of local jobs.”

A final investment decision on the Kemerton plant is expected once the plant receives the remaining required federal approvals.

Image: WA Premier Mark McGowan, The West Australian.